Links to articles about building trust with readers, improving or protecting your search engine rankings, and buying backinks safely. Note that a few of these articles are for more advance readers, in terms of implementing their advice.

  1. Building trust.
    David Dairey

    David Dairey offers some simple ways to build trust with your website readers. While these are easy tips, many blog and site owners have either forgotten to update or don’t know any better. This includes tips such as making contact info easy to find and including a photograph.

  2. Annoying site design decisions.
    Dev Lounge

    It takes more than trust to keep readers coming back. Does your site have design elements that might be annoying your readers? Check out DevLounge’s list of 15 annoying design decisions. To that list I add “low-contrast” pages. That is, colored backgrounds with gray text, and in a small font no less. I find this combo very hard on the eyes, especially at night. The shame of it is, it’s often on the sites of blogs I really like.

  3. Fix your home page URLs.
    Chris Hooley

    Do you know from how many different URLs most blogs’ home page can be accessed. If the number 8 surprises you, then you need to do something. Not doing something can mean that some search engines think you have duplicate content. It’s unfair but true.

    Here’s the basis of the variations:

    • With or without “www.” in front of your domain name.
    • With or without trailing “/” at the end of your URLs.
    • With or without “index.php” (only applicable to some blog platforms and CMSes).
    • A combination of the above.

    A combination of the above results in eight unique URLs. Chris Hooley offers an .htaccess tutorial to canonicalize your URLs. That simply means redirecting them to a single consistent URL. Note that this is a more advanced tutorial. If you don’t understand it, beg a more tech-savvy friend to help you.

  4. Protect your search engine rankings.
    SEO Fast Start

    Even if you protect your search engine rankings by canonicalizing your URLs, it’s still possible that someone can steal your rankings. And with your own content on their site. Scary but true. Read SEO Fast Start’s article Google Proxy Hacking [via Sphinn]. While you’re at it, also read Hamlet Batista’s 10 Ways to Protect Your Site From Negative SEO.

  5. Buying links safely.

    So you’ve built trust, improved your design, fixed your URLs, and protected your search engine rankings. Now what? Well, amongst other things, you need to build links.

    If you are of the opinion that it’s okay to buy links, then read Aaron Wall’s How to: Buy Links Without Being Called a Spammer and Andy Beard’s Paid Links & Reviews are Necessary for Relevant Results. One solution, by the way, is to sponsor weblog themes.